Monday was not a good night for Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day.
With a shot at winning a national championship in only his second season as a head coach, Ryan Day and his Ohio State football team floundered in the second half, falling to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 52-24.
This was only Day’s second loss as the Ohio State Buckeyes head coach. His only other loss came in the 2020 Fiesta Bowl vs. the Clemson Tigers, a team his Buckeyes beat to reach this year’s national title bout. In what was a trying year for all of us, Day spoke on behalf of what his program accomplished to even get to this point. He was very proud of what his Buckeyes did this season.
“What these guys have learned, what our staff has learned, what our program has learned has been incredible for our culture … What we experienced tonight is motivation for when we come back next season … This has been a long, long road. Guys have been away from their families. Proud of our guys. Proud of our seniors, and the legacy they leave behind.”
“This has been a long, long road. Guys have been away from their families. Proud of our guys. Proud of our seniors, and the legacy they leave behind.”
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) January 12, 2021
Will Ohio State get back to the 2022 National Championship game?
Until proven otherwise, Ohio State is the presumptive favorite to come out of the Big Ten in the College Football Playoff era. The Buckeyes are in a class of two other national powers, along with Alabama and Clemson, in that it is shocking if any of those blue-blooded programs do not make the Selection Committee’s final four. However, Ohio State will lose a ton of talent to the NFL Draft.
Players like quarterback Justin Fields, running back Trey Sermon and cornerback Shaun Wade will all turn pro this offseason. Ohio State may do as good of a job as any program in the Power 5 of reloading via recruitment. However, teams like Alabama, Clemson, the Georgia Bulldogs, the Oklahoma Sooners and even the Iowa State Cyclones will be vying for serious playoff contention.
Because the gap between Ohio State and the second-best Big Ten program entering 2021 is so massive, the Buckeyes’ pathway to the College Football Playoff might be the easiest among the Power 5 contenders. What will be an issue for Day’s team is who they would theoretically match up with in either the Cotton Bowl Classic or the Orange Bowl in the national semifinals.
Day should be proud of his team for getting this far, but there are no guarantees they will be back.